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Birthday bash set

Noted musicians to help Conover mark birthday this year

MAIA SHARP: Will perform with Linda Taylor and Miles Nielsen at River’s Edge Theatre in Yorkville on April 14.
MAIA SHARP: Will perform with Linda Taylor and Miles Nielsen at River’s Edge Theatre in Yorkville on April 14.

YORKVILLE, Ill. — On Sunday, April 14, from 5 to 8 p.m., Maia Sharp, Linda Taylor and Miles Nielsen will perform at the River’s Edge Theatre in Yorkville to help local musician and theatre manager Jon Conover celebrate his birthday.

Rivers Edge Theater is at 217 South Bridge St., Yorkville. Tickets to the musical birthday celebration are $15. They will be available at the door or online at

For additional ticketing information, call the theatre at (630) 882-0035.

Maia Sharp, the headline for the show, wears many hats.

She has had her songs recorded by The Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Cher, Lisa Loeb, Edwin McCain, David Wilcox, Art Garfunkel, Paul Carrack and many more. She produced Edwin McCain’s last album, “Mercy Bound” (429 Records), and most recently two songs for Art Garfunkel’s retrospective double album “The Singer” (Sony).

And through it all, Maia has continued to record her own albums — five solo releases and one collaborative project with Art Garfunkel and Buddy Mondlock that have all been critically acclaimed and embraced by press and radio. Each release has led to extensive touring throughout the U.S. and UK, along with appearances on Mountain Stage, Acoustic Cafe, World Cafe, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” CBS Early Morning and the Today Show, to name a few.

Her latest album, “Change the Ending,” released last August by Blix Street Records, has led to more good reviews, a video for its single “Me After You” and another string of dates opening for Bonnie Raitt.
Appearing with Sharp will be guitarist Linda Taylor, who may be best known from her work on ABC’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” hosted by Drew Carey.

Keyboardist Laura Hall and Taylor provide the music featured in this improvised sketch show.
Linda started playing the guitar at the age of 4, after hearing Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends.”  She has toured, recorded, and/or performed with Tracy Chapman, Maia Sharp, Terri Lyne Carrington, Christopher Cross, Sheila E., Carlos Rios, Edwin McCain, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Richard Perry, Leigh Jones, Kirk Whalum, Namie Amuro, Chante Moore, Wayne Brady, Vesta Williams, Thelma Houston, and others.

Linda has been in several TV house bands, including “The Roseanne Show,” “She-TV,” and “Dame Edna”.

She is a frequent film composer, including director Mark Ryan’s “Through The Cracks” and Judy Minor’s “Anatomy Of A Breakup”.

Linda has released two albums. The first, “Pulse”, is an acid jazz instrumental work.  Following the events of 2001, Linda released “Sum Blues” with her R&B band Threshold, featuring guest performances by Keb’ Mo’.

Also taking the stage that night will be Miles Nielsen, for whom songs are the key.
In fact, he has been writing them for as long as he can remember. Good, bad, great – yeah he’s covered all those bases.

For some, music is something in the background, or in the corner of the bar, or merely something that lives on the other side of the dial – a magic diversion created to pass the time in the car. For Miles Nielsen, music is as much a part of his life as the act of taking a breath, every experience, every conversation, every dream is a potential song in the making.

There are millions of people writing, recording and releasing music in today’s world of immediate return. Learn three chords, turn on the computer and you have a worldwide release. There are very few, however, who are writing music that makes you immediately wish there was “more” – another song to make you turn up the volume , another nugget of melody or lyric that you can find some part of to make your own.

Miles’s songs provide that sense of yearning and ownership. You want to have another record, another song – you want to hit rewind … you want to know more about this world created in song by Mr. Nielsen. A captivating wordsmith, instrumentalist, and creator of hooks – rare indeed, but present in the person of Miles Nielsen.

It would be hard to imagine that the years spent honing his craft throughout the bars and music halls of the Midwest, were not leading to something bigger, something permanent. His latest release, Miles Nielsen presents the Rusted Hearts certainly occupies a space of permanence – these songs are not mere throwaway pop songs – but, rather explorations and declarations of a mastery of style and substance, destined to fall into regular rotation on the turntables of fans new and old for years to come.

What is next? Like with any other prediction – no one can say. Gifts like Miles’s come along very infrequently, and one can only hope that his ability to be so “in the now” – listening for the songs spoken in the everyday world will continue to grow.

Then maybe that “more” we are looking for, will be given to us via that very key we yearn for – through Songs.

The whole event is to honor Jon Conover, a Chicagoland singer/songwriter/recording artist who has recorded two albums and toured extensively nationally and internationally. His latest album, “Make it ’Til November,” was recorded in Los Angeles, and features performances by industry giants Kenny Aronoff on drums, Ed Roth on keys, Linda Taylor on guitar, and Andrew Ford on Bass.

Jon has recently returned from an extensive tour of Ireland that earned him media coverage and regular plays on Ireland’s biggest radio stations featuring his singles, “How God Chooses” and “I’m Coming Home.” The video for “How God Chooses” has well over 100,000 views on YouTube.

Jon has played to sold-out crowds in Ireland, California and across the Midwest, touring mostly with his producer, Ed Roth. Ed has recording credits with names like the Avett Brothers, Will Smith, Coolio, Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats, R&B vocalist Mya and Grammy nominee Sophie B. Hawkins. Conover has already enjoyed international success and has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry, and he has no signs of slowing down.

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